TT-Tracks

Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Bill Dixon » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:26 am

At Chilliwack on Saturday it was noted that one of the turnouts on this module was not passing power through the frog. Usually we would never see this issue as we have a power jumper from corner to corner. However I forgot the jumper Friday night. We installed the jumper when I showed up Saturday and bypassed the problem.
20171023 Fixed Tuirnouts.jpg
When I tested this at home I found two bad turnouts (red lines). I added three jumpers (Blue lines) to fix this issue.
I guess the turnouts are starting to show their age. This is one of the first six modules built.

Time to find or make new better turnouts. I have a few Tillig 12 degree turnouts on order. The drawback with these turnouts and any Fast Tracks ones I make is that they will require a switch machine.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Bill Dixon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:44 am

I have been neglecting my TT-Tracks web site for a long time.
It has taken a few weeks but it is now up to date.
The module log has speculation on future modules.

Have been planning future displays with the new corner modules. Having to get creative to fit into the BCSME area.
Nothing concrete to share yet.
VTE 2017 First and then Western Rails 2018 before we think about BCSME 2018.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Bill Dixon » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:50 am

20171025 Module 31.jpg
Module 31 the Abandoned Crossing Module is now:

20171025 Modules 31A and 31B.jpg
Module 31A: a 2/3 long module and Module 31B: a 1/3 long module. They can be used separately as needed or together as a single straight module. When trying to plan a display for VTE 2017 it was clear that I needed these two modules.
I chose module 31 to cut up as it was made of 3 x BG1 and had no major scenery that would be disturbed by the cut. I may have to make another set of these for future displays.
The white cut edges have since been painted green.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby CFRiad » Fri Oct 27, 2017 3:49 pm

Bill Dixon wrote:[...] these turnouts and any Fast Tracks ones I make [...] require a switch machine.

Ok, boys and girls, is it time to discuss a few new TT-Tracks "standards"?

1. Location of turnout operating switches
So far, Bjoern and I put ours in various spots on the top of the module. Advantages: they are easy to spot and operate from the inside or outside of the layout. Disadvantages: they are easy to spot and operate by unauthorized little eyes and hands, they can get in the way of scenery and, some argue, they are unsightly.

I thought about relocating mines on the inside fascia. Here I define "inside" as the side opposite the main tracks. Advantages: eliminates all disadvantages mentioned above. Disadvantages: they can be operated only from the inside and (this is a big one) introduces a weak point when packing and handling modules -- the switches will stick out on the side.

2. Auxiliary power
Is it time to think about a 12 V DC power supply and an auxiliary bus?

Please comment on the above.
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby krokodil » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:12 pm

I have an idea for the turnout controls (I use similar solution on my H0 layout). Cut a nice hole in the fascia - the size depends on the amount of controls ( my ones are around 12x6 cm with rounded corners). I cover the hole from inside of the fascia with a thin sheet of plexi or metal plate, and install all switches on that plate. Ie the thickness of the fascia protects the switches during transport.
If you fix the plate with some simple method, and cut a hole in the fascia symmetrically on both sides, you can easily move the plate with all switches always to the prefered side of the module. The other hole will be covered by a blank (dummy) panel.
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby AstroGoat760 » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:46 pm

CFRiad wrote:2. Auxiliary power
Is it time to think about a 12 V DC power supply and an auxiliary bus?

Please comment on the above.

I would definitely go for an auxiliary bus, that way scenic lights and such can be installed.

We are in the process of refurbishing my old modules, and will include a pair of auxiliary buses for that purpose, one for turnout controls and fixed power lighting and the other set up as variable voltage for lights to be dimmed, and turned off from a central control source.
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Richard-B » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:11 am

CFRiad wrote:1. Location of turnout operating switches
Use DPDT micro-slide switches in-line with the points throw bar... Throw can either be electrical or mechanical. provides power-routing to frog! See: https://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Position-Straight-Switch-Latching/dp/B01NH9GT7L
These are MUCH less noticeable than shiny silver bat-handled switches. (Which magnetically attract tiny fingers!!!)
2. Auxiliary power
Is it time to think about a 12 V DC power supply and an auxiliary bus?
PAST time...
Possible inter-module connector: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BL9JDFM
Alternative would be more Kato...
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TT-Tracks

Postby CFRiad » Mon Nov 27, 2017 1:41 am

For a while now Bill and I were discussing improving the staging yard. It has a few small annoying problems that need fixing. Also Terry mentioned he would like to see more yard space to display more trains at shows.

After VTE, Bill entrusted me with his yard modules with instructions to "do whatever you want". Brave man.

After a lot of thinking, I arrived at the following:

1. Objectives
  • increase usable track space (Terry's request)
  • make the modules sturdier (the foam-only modules are showing their age and do not have leveling feet)
  • standardize track spacing (it is a bit off, to put it nicely)
  • improve switch operation (some switches are motorized, some are manual, one switch is broken and one switch motor is not working reliably)
  • provide some space to set up locos and cars without impeding movement in the yard
  • improve set-up flexibility by allowing different yard lengths depending on space available.
2. Constraints and specifications
  • minimize purchases by reusing and repairing
  • modules must have standard width
  • maximum module length 4xBG1 (current ladder module length)
  • modules must have a sturdy construction with leveling feet
  • switches must be controlled remotely, either electrically or mechanically
  • all switches must be EW1 to maximize usable track length in space available
  • a built-in railing ramp is preferred but not a must
3. Track Plan
I decided to keep the existing ladder configuration and add a new track on the outside of existing track 1. What has now become track 5 has extensions for railing/setting up material. The two existing middle modules will be replaced by four shorter (2xBG1) modules. These will make it easier to set up the yard for various lengths. The following image shows the existing configuration at the top and the proposed one below. New track that needs to be purchased is shown in red. All track and switches will be bedding track to match the existing.
NewYard.jpg

4. Module Construction
All modules will have frames made of 3 mm fibre board with plywood tops (no more foam). Leveling legs go without saying.

5. Electrical plan
To be determined later, more thinking needed.
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Bill Dixon » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:41 pm

The new reverse loops work well with most equipment but the R3 curve is a bit tight for some locomotives.
With a bit of work the loops can be reworked to R4.
End loop with R4..jpg

It requires two triangular pieces to carry the track and 1" additions to the sides to give some safety room for equipment going around the curves. These additions could be slotted to take plastic shields.
The degree of the curves 250 degrees and 35 degrees was chosen so that straight track crosses the folding joints.

I did some doodling to see if R5 would fit. It can be made to fit but you need an additional two inches on each side and bigger triangular pieces. Also the track crosses the folding joints on a curve. Not ideal.

I think that larger radius end loops may need a multi piece module.
More doodling to do.
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Bill Dixon
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Re: TT-Tracks

Postby Richard-B » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:14 pm

California Curves... (NO... not the view on the beach!!!)

Mike O'Dorney and I were talking Sunday (at the PCR NMRA Coast Division meet) about what is needed to be able to display and run TT-Tracks locally in the SF Bay Area...

"Four corner modules" is the obvious answer... but I'm thinking of building some in a 'skeleton-ized' version... more like a like a curved version of the Lucin Cutoff across the Great Salt lake... i.e. a trestle.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucin_Cutoff

Ends of each single-track half-circle set would match the 86mm offset dimension for interface to other TT-Tracks...
but the width of the sub-roadbed arc would be narrow... say 75mm to 100mm (3 or 4 inches).

Base material would be cork-surfaced MDF..

Thoughts on this?
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